Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research]]> vol. 86 num. 1 lang. <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>The haematological, proinflammatory cytokines and IgG changes during an ovine experimental theileriosis</b>]]> Malignant ovine theileriosis is caused by Theileria lestoquardi, which is highly pathogenic in sheep. Theileriosis involves different organs in ruminants. Little is known about the role of proinflammatory cytokines in the pathogenesis of T. lestoquardi infection. The aim of this study was to measure concentration changes of proinflammatory cytokines and immunoglobulin G (IgG) during an ovine experimental theileriosis and correlate it with clinical and haematological parameters. During an experimental study, seven healthy Baluchi sheep (four females and three males) about 6-8 months old were infected with T. lestoquardi by feeding of infected unfed ticks on the sheep's ears. The infected sheep were clinically examined during the study and blood samples were collected on days 0, 2, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17 and 21. The haematological parameters were analysed by an automatic veterinary haematology cell counter and the inflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and IgG were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. All infected sheep had temperatures above 40 °C on days 3-4 post infection (PI). The maximum temperature was noted on day 7, and it remained high until day 21. The parasitaemia of T. lestoquardi infection increased from 0.01% (day 7 PI) to 3.3% (day 21 PI). The mean white blood cell (WBC), red blood cell (RBC), lymphocyte, neutrophil and platelet values slightly increased on day 2 PI and decreased by day 17 and day 21 PI. The percentage parasitaemia and fever had a negative correlation with the numbers of WBCs, RBCs, lymphocytes, neutrophils and platelets. The serum concentration of IL-6, TNF-α and IFN-γ cytokines increased and peaked on day 12 and thereafter decreased to levels lower than 0. Out of all tested cytokines, the concentration of IL-6 was significantly higher, as early as day 2 PI. No significant changes were observed for the IgG levels during the course of disease. A significant and strong correlation was observed between IL-6, TNF-α and IFN-γ values and a moderate correlation between IL-6 and the numbers of lymphocytes in the present study. A strong correlation was determined between the percentage parasitaemia and haematological parameters in T. lestoquardi-infected sheep. In addition, preliminary results indicate that the measurement of the serum concentrations of IL-6 in combination with haematological parameters could be considered a good marker to estimate the pathogenicity of T. lestoquardi strain. <![CDATA[<b>Safety and immunogenicity of Rift Valley fever MP-12 and arMP-12</b><b>ΔNSm21/384 vaccine candidates in goats (<i>Capra aegagrus hircus</i>) from Tanzania</b>]]> Vaccination of domestic ruminants is considered to be an effective strategy for protecting these animals against Rift Valley fever (RVF), but available vaccines have limitations. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the safety and immunogenicity of RVF virus (RVFV) mutagenesis passage 12 (MP-12) and arMP-12ΔNSm21/384 vaccine candidates in goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) in Tanzania. Goats were vaccinated intramuscularly with RVFV MP-12 or arMP-12ΔNSm21/384, and then on Day 87 post-vaccination (PV) all animals were revaccinated using the RVFV MP-12 vaccine candidate. Serum samples were collected from the animals before and after vaccination at various intervals to test for RVFV using a Vero cell culture assay and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and for RVFV-neutralising antibody using a plaque reduction neutralisation assay. Serum samples collected before vaccination on Days -14 and 0, and on Days 3, 4 and 5 PV were negative for RVFV and neutralising antibody. All animals remained healthy, and viremia was not detected in any of the animals. Rift Valley fever virus antibody was first detected on Day 5 PV at a 1:10 dilution in five of five animals vaccinated with the MP-12 vaccine and in five of eight animals vaccinated with arMP-12ΔNSm21/384. Titres then increased and were sustained at 1:40 to 1:640 through to Day 87 PV. All animals that were revaccinated on Day 87 PV with MP-12 developed antibody titres ranging from 1:160 to as high as 1:10 240 on Days 14 and 21 PV. Although the antibody titres for goats vaccinated with RVF MP-12 were slightly higher than titres elicited by the arMP-12ΔNSm21/384 vaccine, these findings demonstrated that both vaccines are promising candidates for the prevention of RVF among Tansanian goats. <![CDATA[<b>A field study on the efficacy of ivermectin via subcutaneous route against chewing lice (<i>Bovicola caprae</i>) infestation in naturally infested goats</b>]]> Caprine pediculosis is an ectoparasitic disease of great concern among goat farmers in India. It may be caused by either sucking lice or chewing lice; the latter one results in severe skin lesions, leading to production loss. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the macrocytic lactone drug, ivermectin, administered via subcutaneous injection, against chewing lice Bovicola (Damalinia) caprae infestation in naturally infested goats. The study was conducted on 20 goats with severe B. caprae infestation. Animals of group A (n = 10) were treated using a single dose of ivermectin (200 µg/kg body weight) subcutaneously and animals of group B (n = 10) underwent placebo therapy using normal saline. The animals were examined on days 0, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, 42 and 56 for lice counts. There was 100% elimination of lice in all animals of group A and effective protection from re-infection remained at least for 21 days. Considerable improvement in haematological parameters was also observed by day 21. Based on this study, ivermectin injected via a subcutaneous route can be used effectively for the therapeutic and prophylactic management of chewing lice infestation in goats maintained under an extensive grazing system. <![CDATA[<b>Brucellosis knowledge, attitudes and practices of a South African communal cattle keeper group</b>]]> Brucellosis remains an animal and public health concern in South Africa, given the intensity and widespread distribution of outbreaks in cattle. We conducted a cross-sectional survey among cattle keepers in the Whittlesea community of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, which utilises communal grazing. Individual cattle keepers (N = 227) who attended prearranged meetings in selected villages were interviewed using a structured questionnaire to assess their knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) regarding bovine brucellosis. We compared KAP scores between previous brucellosis-affected villages and unaffected villages. We compared attitude and practices scores between those who had heard of brucellosis and those who had not and between those above the 75th percentile knowledge score and those below. The KAP for the study population were described using frequency tables. Scores of different groups were compared using the Welch t-test or the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Knowledge scores of those who had heard of brucellosis (60%) showed a bimodal distribution with a 0/18 primary peak and 5-6/18 secondary peak. Attitude scores showed a median of 7/14 (interquartile range [IQR] 6-9), with 98% requesting more information on brucellosis. Practices scores showed a median of 6/18 (IQR 3-8), with high-risk practices identified that could facilitate brucellosis transmission. There were significant differences in attitude and practices scores between the groups above and below the 75th percentile knowledge score. The community showed poor knowledge, poor to average practices and average to good attitude. Identified high-risk practices highlight the risk of potential introduction and transmission of brucellosis between cattle and zoonotic transmission to humans. <![CDATA[<b>Sheep enteric cestodes and their influence on clinical indicators used in targeted selective treatments against gastrointestinal nematodes</b>]]> Clinical indicators such as diarrhoea (DISCO) or anaemia (FAMACHA©) are used as a measure for targeted selective treatments against gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN). Enteric cestodes such as Moniezia may interfere directly with DISCO or indirectly with the FAMACHA© score. We investigated 821 Ouled Djellal rams naturally infected in a steppe environment (GIN alone, cestodes alone, GIN and cestodes) or not. The rams were treated with ivermectin 2 months before being slaughtered to reduce the impact of nematodes on the clinical scores; however, persistent or newly acquired GINs were not related to both scores. Of the non-infected rams (n = 296), 26% identified as needing treatment against GIN using the FAMACHA score, and 34.5% using DISCO would have been thus selected. This implies that the clinical indicators used for the targeted selective treatment of gastrointestinal nematodes are not fully reliable when a low infection is recorded and may well be influenced by confounding factors. As expected, only DISCO was affected by cestode infection, and we suggest that the presence of Moniezia should also be taken into consideration. <![CDATA[<b>Vitamin D status in dogs with babesiosis</b>]]> Canine babesiosis is a virulent infection of dogs in South Africa caused principally by Babesia rossi. Hypovitaminosis D has been reported in a wide range of infectious diseases in humans and dogs, and low vitamin D status has been associated with poor clinical outcomes. However, the relationship between vitamin D status and canine babesiosis has not been investigated. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between the presence and severity of B. rossi infection and vitamin D status of infected dogs. Owners with dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of B. rossi infection and of healthy control dogs were invited to enrol onto the study. Vitamin D status was assessed by measurement of serum concentrations of the major circulating vitamin D metabolite, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D). Dogs with babesiosis (n = 34) had significantly lower mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations than healthy dogs (n = 24) (37.76 ± 21.25 vs. 74.2 ± 20.28 nmol/L). The effect of babesiosis on serum 25(OH)D concentrations was still significant after adjusting for any effect of age, body weight and sex. There was a negative relationship between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and disease severity in dogs with babesiosis. Serum concentrations of creatinine and alanine aminotransferase and time to last meal were not associated with serum 25(OH)D concentrations in dogs with babesiosis. In conclusion, dogs with Babesia rossi infections had lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations than healthy dogs. The inverse correlation between 25(OH)D concentrations and the clinical severity score indicate that hypovitaminosis D might be a helpful additional indicator of disease severity. <![CDATA[<b>Peste des petits ruminants in Africa: Meta-analysis of the virus isolation in molecular epidemiology studies</b>]]> Peste des petits ruminant (PPR) is a highly contagious, infectious viral disease of small ruminant species which is caused by the peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV), the prototype member of the Morbillivirus genus in the Paramyxoviridae family. Peste des petits ruminant was first described in West Africa, where it has probably been endemic in sheep and goats since the emergence of the rinderpest pandemic and was always misdiagnosed with rinderpest in sheep and goats. Since its discovery PPR has had a major impact on sheep and goat breeders in Africa and has therefore been a key focus of research at the veterinary research institutes and university faculties of veterinary medicine in Africa. Several key discoveries were made at these institutions, including the isolation and propagation of African PPR virus isolates, notable amongst which was the Nigerian PPRV 75/1 that was used in the scientific study to understand the taxonomy, molecular dynamics, lineage differentiation of PPRV and the development of vaccine seeds for immunisation against PPR. African sheep and goat breeds including camels and wild ruminants are frequently infected, manifesting clinical signs of the disease, whereas cattle and pigs are asymptomatic but can seroconvert for PPR. The immunisation of susceptible sheep and goats remains the most effective and practical control measure against PPR. To carry out PPR vaccination in tropical African countries with a very high temperature, a thermostable vaccine using the rinderpest lyophilisation method to the attenuated Nigeria 75/1 PPR vaccine strain has been developed, which will greatly facilitate the delivery of vaccination in the control, prevention and global eradication of PPR. Apart from vaccination, other important questions that will contribute towards the control and prevention of PPR need to be answered, for example, to identify the period when a susceptible naïve animal becomes infectious when in contact with an infected animal and when an infectious animal becomes contagious.